Injuries you suffer as the result of a collision with a commercial truck can be serious and have ramifications for the rest of your life. While a New York civil trial may take some time, pursuing the compensation you deserve for your pains remains your right. However, some trucking companies may try to persuade injury victims to settle a collision claim through alternative means. While an injury victim can benefit from settling with a trucking company, there are still drawbacks to watch out for.
Per FindLaw, the obvious benefit to avoiding a trial is that you save money in legal costs and do not have to wait as long to receive compensation. An alternate method of resolution, like mediation or negotiation, can also induce a trucking company to be more forthcoming about the facts of the accident since they do not have to publicly admit guilt. Also, the proceedings can be calmer and more pleasant than a trial, which may help the parties come to an agreement.
One reason trucking companies like to settle is because they get off the hook for admitting that the accident was their fault. For some people, this is an acceptable tradeoff if it means they can receive compensation for their injuries that much quicker. However, if you want the trucking company held publicly responsible for your injuries, a civil trial may be your only option.
Also, while you may receive your compensation quicker than if you litigated the matter in court, there is the chance you do not end up with the amount you believe you deserve. If you agree to have your dispute arbitrated, there is no guarantee that the arbitrator will accept your arguments. Similarly, a mediation or a negotiation may not produce an amount that you believe is fair to compensate for your injuries and recovery.
Another issue is that a trucking company may require you to sign a document that waives your right to litigate the company in the future over the incident that caused your injury. However, some injury victims experience additional symptoms and pain days or weeks after the injury occurred. For instance, the Back Pain Authority explains that some back pain can develop long after the person sustained the injury. If you discover further injuries after you waive your right to sue, you might lose out on receiving any additional compensation from the trucking company.
The bottom line is that you should take great care if a trucking company proposes to settle out of court. Consult with an experienced attorney who can recognize the pitfalls that you may fall into if you try to settle your injury claim through an alternative form of resolution.